College old boy to represent SA at World Champs
MARITZBURG College old boy Martin Binedell is set to gain much needed swimming experience while representing South Africa in his first ever Fina World Championships in Hungary.
The competition, which is being held in Budapest, started on Friday and closes on July 30, which is Binedell’s birthday. Binedell is the current South African and African Champion in the 200 m backstroke. The former Maritzburg College pupil goes into the World Champs with high hopes.
“As it is the first time I am swimming in front of a 50 000plus crowd and it is my first major competition, I think it would be great to make a semifinal; the top 16 in the world would be really good.”
The 21yearold said he and his coach have committed the next four years to getting to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. Outside of swimming, Binedell is currently studying for a B.Com in marketing management at Varsity College in Westville.
“I don’t get too much free time outside of swimming, but when I do I enjoy chilling with mates and going for a surf,” he said. At the moment Binedell does about 24 hours of training a week.
“Swimming has been my life since primary school and I can’t imagine my life without swimming,” he said.
He advised young swimmers to work hard. “I think the main thing is that there is no substitute for hard work. The other thing is never give up on your dream. I have been through some rough times with my swimming and I have almost given up and you’ve just got to keep pushing and believing and then trust that one day everything will fall into place and your dreams will come true.”
The current African champion said he had high regard for former American swimmer Michael Phelps.
“My idol in swimming would have to be Michael Phelps because of his achievements, but more the way and manner he went about doing it. To me he’s a true professional and ambassador of the sport. He’s always been humble both in his victories and failures,” he said.
The humble young man admits swimming is tougher than many people think.
“This year is turning out to be very busy with international competitions and training camps, but unfortunately, I am required to pay my own costs. This comes at a huge financial burden to me and my family who have been doing their best to support my sporting ventures.”
Binedell is also very involved in lifesaving and was selected for the SA Stillwater Lifesaving team to compete at the Commonwealth Festival of Lifesaving in Durban in August.
He is also part of the highperformance squad to represent SA at the Orange Cup lifesaving meet in Holland.
Maritzburg College old boy Martin Binedell will be representing South Africa in the 17th Fina World Championships taking place in Budapest, Hungary.